At the start of 2011, I feel obliged to post on the availablity of Irish records online.
I want to emphasise the value of Familysearch.org for anyone doing Irish genealogical research. This website, set up by the Mormons continues to have new material added to it. It is all done in an understated fashion with no fanfare or official launches that I know of, anyway. Yet, anyone doing genealogical research online must have come across it.
As regards Ireland, the website serves a huge purpose and enables people to search for birth, marriage and death indexes from the start of civil records to 1958. Once you have found an index which might be correct, you can order a photocopy of this for €4 from the GRO in Roscommon.
The Familysearch.org website has miscellaneous Irish Parish records. For Irish who emigrated to other countries, Familysearch.org offers much material. There are many scanned in census forms etc. etc.
I should mention the official HSE Civil Registration website at Civil Registration Service which gives details of ordering certificates through its system. It is more expensive than the Mormon wesite at €11 which includes a search, retrieval and postage fee (which is €1 within Ireland, €2 for elsewhere). However, the service extends to present day records.
So, in 2011, we have ways of finding/ordering civil records online, the 1901 and 1911 Irish Censuses are online and free. There are other websites like Askaboutireland.ie where Griffith’s Valuation is available and free. The Askaboutireland.ie website states:
AskAboutIreland and the Cultural Heritage Project is an initiative of public libraries together with local museums and archives in the digitisation and online publication of the original, the unusual and the unique material from their local studies’ collections to create a national Internet resource for culture.
I should not forget the Irishgenealogy website which is trying to get as many church records online as possible. It is free.
I have heard (from the online message boards) and I can’t confirm this but the National Library of Ireland, holder of microfilm for the Catholic Church parish records may be planning to digitize all of its parish records.
I look forward to seeing more and more Irish records online.